Home » Governance » The Chingwizi Outrage

A GROUP of government ministers were left with mud on the face when residents of Chingwizi camp in Masvingo angrily booed and chased them away. They had come in for their routine media tours in order to use the background of Chingwizi in their photo opportunities as they made empty sound bites that make them look good in their suits. It is arrogant of our government to refuse responsibility of the dire situation that obtains at Chingwizi settlement camp.

The floods at the Tokwe-Murkosi basin were a consequence of careless planning on the part of government. Since the people of Tokwe-Murkosi were displaced by the floods, they were moved into temporary shelter. Instead of concrete steps being taken to solve the problem, government ministers have been taking turns to go to the camp on media driven visits that have yielded nothing but more talk without action.

Yet, these 3000 people have a right to compensation for their property and to voluntary resettlement elsewhere and to earn a living as they see fit. Sadly, hundreds of children have been disrupted from school, while the vulnerable and elderly are living in unfriendly conditions and women have been forced into prostitution. Chingwizi is severely overcrowded, with each family allocated a one-room tent regardless of the number of family members.

Currently, there is not enough water for the entire Chingwizi population, raising serious health concerns. There are also widespread reports of government officials looting goods intended for the campers and for allegedly using food to get sex. It is shameful of them to take aantage of desperate women and girls to solicit for sex in exchange for food and other necessities.

The outrage of the people of Chingwizi should be a lesson. Let’s not play to the political gallery. If a government is going to take taxes from people and subject them to the rule of law, then it might as well give something in return and the least requirement is decent living and the conditions necessary to thrive and prosper. That is not too much to demand.

Source : Financial Gazette